Being a dad can include a vast list of descriptions but ultimately it is about impressing the image of God on our children. As we remain close to our Heavenly Father we are able to live out a godly life before our children. As God impresses His image upon us we then have the capacity to impress His image upon our children. The old saying, more is caught than taught still rings true for Dads after God’s own heart in 2018.
Though there are a treasure chest of tools and principles for raising children, prayer continues to remain at the top of the list. Raising children is not something that we can do on our own strength, it requires divine assistance and for that reason fathers are at their best when they are on their knees with their arms open wide toward heaven.
Our first child Meagan spent the first six months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Morristown NJ where she fought for her life. Three times we were told she would not make it through the night and then ultimately after an emergency surgery to save her life failed she stood at death’s door and there was nothing that any human being could do for her. We braced ourselves for the worse. Yet, the body of Christ continued to labor in prayer as did we. The words of Psalm 50:15 became a life line to my wife Cher and I, “and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Three times God prophetically spoke this scripture to us during this life and death battle. Jesus miraculously healed Meagan and she is now a vibrant 23 year old woman who is living out her dreams. Holding onto Jesus and learning to trust Him when everything is falling apart is something that is learned in prayer.
We do our greatest work as dads and moms when we are on our knees before the throne of grace crying out for our children. In good times and in bad the greatest gift we can give our children is consistently praying for them. Our children need and deserve much from their dads but one thing is for sure they need us to provide a spiritual covering over them through prayer.
One of my go to maps for praying over my children and wife is Ephesians 6:10-18. With the help of the Spirit of God I unpack the Armor of God and pray it piece by piece onto my children and wife. From the helmet of salvation to feet that are fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace. Not simply naming the pieces but unpacking them over their lives. For instance, when I am asking God to put the helmet of salvation upon each one of them, my prayer is, “Oh God I pray that they will know you intimately, that you would reveal to them the reality of the redemption that you secured for them at the cross. That they would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a blood bought child of the King… etc.” As the Spirit leads in prayer I pray over them the blessings and truths of the Gospel, and all that Christ has accomplished for them through is His sacrificial death and victory over the grave. I then move onto the other pieces and do the same as the Spirit leads. I have found praying the scripture over my family and my own life to be extremely fruitful and powerful to over come the enemy in the battle. I pray in some way that this encourages you as you seek to stand guard over your children and families.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
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